Making your own homemade tortillas is a fairly simple prospect, as long as you have the correct piece of equipment. While commonly known as a "tortilladora" in Mexico, the tortilla press has got to be one of the easiest pieces of cooking equipment to use in the world. After all, all that you have to do is simply put a piece of dough between the plates and pressing down. But what about choosing one? What do you need to know in order to get the most out of these fantastic devices? The answers to these questions lie below.
- Materials. Most tortilla presses are made from three different types of materials: cast iron, cast aluminum, or wood. While there is little difference in performance, each will have their own adherents. Typically the cast iron press will provide a more "authentic" look and taste to the tortilla, while the aluminum presses can produce similar results—with a little more work, since you have to press down harder to make your tortilla. Wooden presses typically look nicer, while being able to provide a larger tortilla. Wood presses are usually made from pine, which doesn't last very long, or they can use other types of wood like mesquite and oak.
- Sizes. Depending on the type of tortilla press that you choose, you can end up with a tortilla that will be as small as six inches and as large as nine inches or more. While it may be true that you can make smaller tortillas by using smaller pieces of dough, you can only make a large tortilla if you have a large enough tortilla press.
- Models. The standard type of tortilla press will only do one thing—make a single raw, uncooked tortilla. On average, this is exactly what is needed, particularly when you want a traditional style of tortilla. However, if you are looking for a quicker, more made-to-order tortilla, then go for an electric model that can press and cook the tortilla all at the same time.
- Ease of care. Usually, when making tortillas and using a tortilla press all that you need to do is simply wipe everything down with a simple paper towel. Only when you begin using the electric models that cook the tortillas, do you need to do any regular and in-depth cleaning.